BALTIMORE MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO EVADING $2.9 MILLION
IN ESTATE TAXES
United States Attorney Thomas M. DiBiagio and Special
Agent in Charge, Vicki S. Duane, IRS-Criminal Investigation Division,
announced today that a Baltimore man has pleaded guilty to attempting
to evade the assessment and payment of approximately $2.9 million in
estate taxes owed when his mother died in Australia.
Eric H. Heydemann, 41, who presently resides in Baltimore, entered the
guilty plea to one count of attempting to evade the estate taxes due
on his mother's estate before the Honorable Marvin J. Garbis in United
States District Court in Baltimore. In a statement of facts presented
to the Court by Assistant United States Attorney Dale P. Kelberman,
the evidence showed that Heydemann became the personal representative
for the estate of his late mother, Maija, who died in March, 1996 as
the head of the Baltimore Instrument Company. At the time of her death,
Ms. Heydemann's estate consisted of property having a value in excess
of $6 million.
According to the statement of facts, Heydemann sought to evade the assessment
and payment of the estate taxes by firing the attorney retained to represent
the estate and transferring over $4 million from the estate into personal
bank accounts he controlled. Heydemann then attempted to wire transfer
those funds to a Swiss bank account, and when that attempt was unsuccessful,
he obtained a cashier's check for the $4 million which he deposited
to a Swiss account. Heydemann then fled the United States and established
residency in the Bahamas, at which time he sold his Baltimore condominium
for a loss.
Heydemann returned to the United States in December, 2001, to face the
charges. Sentencing is scheduled for July 30, 2002. The maximum penalty
for tax evasion is five years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000, plus
the payment of the back taxes, interest and penalties due.
The conviction is the result of an investigation conducted by the Baltimore
office of the Maryland-Delaware division of the Internal Revenue Service.